Business / Policy Watch

China to advance agricultural modernization

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-24 07:15

China to advance agricultural modernization

A giant harvester on display at the Nanjing International Expo Center, East China's Jiangsu province on April 9 2013. The 9.5-meter long, 4.2-meter wide and 4-meter high harvester can harvest and thresh 5 tons of rice or corn at a time. [Zhen Huai / Asianewsphoto]

BEIJING - China concluded a rural work conference on Tuesday, vowing to push forward agricultural modernization through reform and innovation.

The country made great progress in rural development in 2014 with its 11th consecutive bumper harvest and an increase in farm income, according to a statement released after the two-day central conference, which sets the tone for next year.

Stark challenges

"However, China is facing unprecedented challenges if it wants to achieve sustained and stable development in the agricultural sector," said the statement, citing rising agricultural production costs, impaired cultivation and limited arable land and fresh water.

Li Guoxiang, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China's agricultural production is confronted with surging costs, pressure for the government to subsidize agriculture and the constraints of resources and environment.

"If it stays this way, a question mark should be placed after whether China can achieve sustainable development of agriculture," Li said.

To solve the problems, China must accelerate agricultural modernization and raise quality and efficiency of agriculture, Zhu Lizhi, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, told Xinhua.

The statement said that China will strive to transform the pattern of agricultural development, raise the output rate of the land, increase resource utilization rate to attain intensive and sustainable growth.

Important but less developed

Under the economic "new normal", agricultural modernization is of great significance to stabilizing economic growth, adjusting structure and improving people's livelihood.

Agricultural modernization is the foundation and pillar for China's modernization drive, but it is a prominent weak point at present, the statement said.

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